Yesterday I posted a blog that talked about basic food storage. I had a number of questions. Many times I get people asking me how to amass a food storage without going broke. The answer is simple. Food storage is not something you do out of fear. It is a way of life. Our grandparents put food up for the winter because fields and gardens were not producing. They had root cellars to keep produce like apple, onions, carrots, potatoes etc., cool and fresh. They kept chickens for fresh eggs and meat. As a society, we have drifted away from the agrarian lifestyle to the point where many do not know how to subsist without going to the drive through or throwing a frozen pizza in the oven. I say that everyone should have a food storage, not matter how large or how small. It is important to shop sales and only buy things your family will eat.
Shopping from paycheck to paycheck can be tricky when trying to start a food storage but it is not impossible. You need to learn how to shop properly before you can have what you need for a rainy day. There are many ways of doing this, but I say just do it. Start small. Make your weekly or bi-weekly grocery list and set your budget. Then add these things to each grocery trip.
1 pound of dried beans
1 pound of long grain rice
1 canister of salt
2 cans of tuna or chicken
2 cans of vegetables
2 cans of soup
1 canister of old fashioned oats
1 jar of peanut butter
1 jar of jam or honey
5 pounds of flour
1 bag of sugar
1 box pancake mix (the add water and stir kind)
1 bag or box of raisins or dried fruit
1 package of instant milk or 2 quarts of shelf stable milk or nut or soy milk
2 packages of pasta
2 jars of pasta sauce
1 flat of bottled water
These things can get you started with a food storage. You can adjust to your family's taste and you can add or subtract or multiply the amounts you choose to add.
I also have a number of people asking me where can they store the food. A lot of people live in small apartments but still want to be prepared. The answer is simple. The unused spaces in your residence can yield great storage space for your food supply. You can reorganize your closet and make room on a high shelf. You can dedicate a portion of a pantry closet for nothing but preparedness. My personal favorite is under the bed(s). There is untold storage opportunity under a queen sized bed. You can purchase flat under bed boxes from the big box store. I have three queen sized beds in my house. None of them have "stuff" under them, they all have food and preparedness items under them. Yes, my girls complain from time to time, but they understand. Under one of the beds we use the boxes. I can get 12 of these boxes, stacked by 2 under the bed. We have all of our beds raised up on cinder blocks to give us an extra foot of storage space. The boxes hold everything from home canned items (I can fit pints and half pints in these jars) as well as dry goods like baking supplies, rice, dry beans and even commercially canned foods such as veggies and fruits and even canned milk. Where there is a will there is a way and this is the way that works for us. The bonus is that my children can no longer shove massive amounts of flotsam and jetsam under their beds to forget about and later be toted to the dump.
I was inspired in my journey to food storage by Wendy DeWitt. She has several videos on YouTube that you can find. They are all basically the same presentation but she will update them every couple of years. Her food storage plan is geared toward the LDS community. I am not a member of the LDS church, however she gives a lot of good advice and even though I may not subscribe to her particular religious doctrine, I do enjoy the advice she has shared with regard to taming the food storage beast.
Here is her most recent updated presentation. I hope this helps many of you who may think that food storage is just too big and too scary to even approach. I hope that this gives you inspiration and encouragement to start today, even if it is just a box of macaroni and cheese and a can of tuna. Do what you can with what you have and you will be doing good for tomorrow!
Remember, that in the event of an emergency, the time to prepare has passed. In my case I am a Christian who has been called to help others. We must always put back, not only for ourselves, but for our neighbor. Jesus teaches us in And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." So you see having a food storage is not just about taking care of yourself, however this is something we must all do. In the end, we pray that we never need to have it, however if we find that we have extra we are able to bless someone else with it if they are in a time of need.